Turning great ideas into healthier communities

Sharon Sugerman, MS, RD, FADA, FAND

Program Director II

Sharon Sugerman, MS, RD, FADA is Research and Evaluation Program Director for Public Health Institute’s Center for Wellness and Nutrition. In addition to oversight of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) evaluation, she develops and oversees evaluation projects in worksite wellness and tribal community health. With 25 years of research and evaluation experience; she has conducted research on SNAP-Ed evaluation, California fruit and vegetable and sugar sweetened beverage consumption, women’s health, immigrant health beliefs, dietary assessment measures, Hispanic food and shopping habits, and community-based cancer prevention programs.

 Sugerman is a contributing author to the development of the Western Region SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework for Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Prevention Outcomes and serves on the Produce for Better Health Research sub-committee.

 Prior to her PHI work, Sugerman worked as a senior research nutritionist for Westat, sharing leadership responsibilities for a series of methodology studies for improving national dietary monitoring surveillance. She has also worked as a research nutritionist on a number of community-based chronic disease risk reduction interventions designed to reach African-American and Latino populations.

 Sugerman earned an M.S. in rehabilitation psychology from the Illinois Institute of Technology and an M.S. in nutrition and medical dietetics from the University of Illinois Chicago.

Administrative and Programmatic Support for Nutrition and Physical Activity Programs

Poor diet and physical inactivity are among the leading causes of preventable death in California and play a major role in a host of chronic diseases and health-threatening conditions, such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Since 1986, PHI has joined with the Cancer Control Branch of the California Department of Public Health at the forefront of statewide efforts to increase the number of Californians who eat healthful diets and do regular physical activity. Under this grant, PHI staff is to continue to provide leadership and ongoing development for the Network for a Healthy California and the California 5 a Day Plus Physical Activity Campaign, including its programs targeted to children, Latinos, African-Americans and low-income families.

Growing Healthy Farms, Healthy People: Our Shared Future Western Growers Assurance Trust Wellness Initiative Demonstration Project

The Center for Wellness and Nutrition is funded by Western Growers Assurance Trust to enhance the competitiveness and profitability of members and to lead members, worksite employees and the fresh produce industry toward a healthy, sustainable and profitable future by implementing evidence-based worksite wellness programs. Activities will occur on an ongoing basis over 18 months, guided in each site by an employee wellness committee.

Impact Evaluation Study for the Network for a Healthy California's Latino Campaign

The Network for a Healthy California Latino Campaign is a multi-channel social marketing campaign that uses tailored, focus-group tested materials and a variety of methods to empower low-income Latino adults and their families to consume fruits and vegetables and exercise every day. The Impact Evaluation Study for the Latino Campaign is a quasi-experimental study. Pre and post-intervention measures include campaign exposure and recall, change in fruit and vegetable consumption, physical activity behavior and related psychosocial constructs. 

Media Benchmark Survey

The Network for a Healthy California develops targeted social marketing campaigns, mass media messages and resources for U.S. Department of Agriculture's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participants and other low-income Californians. The Benchmark Survey evaluates campaign recall, assesses the relationship of dietary and physical activity practices relative to media exposure and psychosocial determinants, and examines knowledge, attitudes and beliefs towards diet and physical activity.

Michigan Harvest of the Month (MiHOTM) Point-of-Access Evaluation

The Michigan Fitness Foundation collaborates with diverse community partners to implement the MiHOTM program in grocery stores, farmers’ markets, community gardens, and food pantries reaching low-income populations in Michigan with nutrition education and resources. Quasi-experimental designs assess the impact of the MiHOTM point-of-access pilot programs in retail and food pantry settings. Evaluation measures include shopper survey, in-store scan, showcase observation, store manager/director survey, food panty participant intention card/survey, and food pantry staff and nutrition educator interviews.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education

Over 15 years, the Center has partnered with the California Dept. of Public Health's Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Branch to provide management, program support, evaluation and implementation of the nation's largest, most diverse nutrition and physical activity initiative. It has helped create partnerships empowering low-income Californians to increase fruit and vegetable consumption, physicial activity and food security.

Toiyabe Indian Health Service PICH and REACH CDC Division of Community Health grants

Each of these grants, which both run from FFY 2015 through FFY 2017, funds a variety of community wellness projects. PHI is funded as the evaluation contractor for both grants.  Each of the grants requires two types of evaluation:  one actual use evaluation and one or more outcome evaluations.  The projects selected for evaluation include development of walking/biking paths in three tribal areas, planting a school garden with concurrent implementation of a school garden curriculum in five schools in grades K-2, and market match for fruit and vegetables to increase access in three farmers’ markets.

Fruit and Vegetable, Fat, and Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Intake Among Low-Income Mothers Living in Neighborhoods With Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (2016)

This study, published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, evaluates the effectiveness of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance...

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Healthy Employees, Healthy Business: The Value of a Healthy Workplace (2016)

The Public Health Institute’s Center for Wellness and Nutrition is a national leader in developing campaigns, programs and partnerships to re...

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Impact Evaluation of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program with Michigan Harvest of the Month in Schools (Grades K-8) (2014)

This report summarizes findings prepared for the Michigan Fitness Foundation and Michigan Department of Education from a quasi-experimental interve...

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Obesity in California: The Weight of the State, 2000-2012 (2014)

This report examines the obesity prevalence in California and looks at trends across child, adolescent, and adult populations from 2000 to 2012. Si...

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Relationships between Levels of Reach of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed) Interventions and Nutrition and Physical Activi (2014)

This study combined information on United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed) int...

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Education, Diet, and Environmental Factors Influence Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption among California Children, Teens, and Adults (2012)

In California, approximately half of children, teens, and adults drink at least one serving of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) daily. Over the...

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Building Evaluation Capacity in Local Programs for Multi-site Nutrition Education Interventions (2011)

From 2004-2008, capacity to conduct program evaluation was built among the Network for a Healthy California's 48 largest local partners. Capaci...

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California Adults Increase Fruit and Vegetable Consumption From 1997-2007 (2011)

This article in the Journal of Nutrition and Education, written with PHI's Network for a Healthy California, reviews data the lo...

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California Hispanic Women's Fruit and Vegetable Consumption by Years in the United States, 2007 (2011)

A brief on the results of the 2007 California Women's Health Survey highlights its finding that years in the U.S. is not a associated with a de...

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California Women's Diet Quality by Household Food Security Status, 2007 (2011)

A brief on the results of the 2007 California Women's Health Survey's examination of the relationship between women's household food se...

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Catering Trucks in California Promote Healthy Eating in Low-Wage Worksites (2011)

According to the California Dietary Practices Survey, nearly two-thirds of California adults report that it is difficult to get fruits and vegetabl...

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Effect of Fresh Fruit Availability at Worksites on the Fruit and Vegetable Consumption of Low-Wage Employees (2011)

  Exploring how easy access to fruits and vegetables affected the consumption and purchasing of FVs outside of work, this study ...

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Health of California Women Receiving Food Stamps, 2006-2007 (2011)

A brief on the results of the 2007 California Women's Health Survey highlights that 75 percent of the adult heads of households receiving food ...

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Reliability of a Retail Food Store Survey and Development of an Accompanying Retail Scoring System to Identify Vendors for Healthy Food and Marketing (2011)

OBJECTIVE: To develop a retail grocery instrument with weighted scoring to be used as an indicator of the food environment. PARTICIPANTS/SE...

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Using an Opinion Poll to Build an Obesity-Prevention Social Marketing Campaign for Low-Income Asian and Hispanic Immigrants: Report of Findings (2011)

Using a random digit-dial survey to poll 905 Hispanic, Chinese, Vietnamese, Hmong, and Korean Californians adults with an income les...

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Disparities in Prevalence of Obesity among California Women, 2007 (2010)

This is a brief that provides an overview of the results of the 2007 California Women's Health Survey. The survey asked 4,667 nonpregnant women...

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Psychosocial, Socioeconomic, Behavioral, and Environmental Risk Factors for BMI and Overweight Among 9- to 11-Year-Old Children (2009)

This study explored the risk factors for higher BMI and overweight in 9- to 11-year-old children using the 2007 California Children’s Healthy...

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Prevalence of Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Physical Activity by Gender and Race/Ethnicity - California, 2005-2006 (2008)

Diets high in fruits and vegetables and participation in regular physical activity are associated with a lower risk for several chronic diseases an...

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The Relationship between Healthy Weight, Physical Activity and Neighborhood Environmental Factors among California Women, 2005 (2008)

This is the complete Data Points series from The California Women’s Health Survey (CWHS). The CWHS was established to collect, analyze, inter...

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The evaluation of public health programs and policies is essential to improving health outcomes. PHI offers a full suite of evaluation services&mda...

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Food Security

Obesity and diet-related chronic diseases have become severe economic and health threats to both adults and children—increasing the costs of ...

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Health Education & Promotion

Health outcomes are tied to individual behavior, and are also shaped by our surrounding environments. In order to improve health and reduce rising ...

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Nutrition & Diet

The Public Health Institute views nutrition and diet as fundamental building blocks to good health. We are committed to reducing obesity and improv...

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Obesity Prevention

The obesity epidemic is a growing threat to our nation's long-term health, with communities of color and low-income populations disproportionat...

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Physical Activity

Physical inactivity contributes to many of the leading causes of preventable death, and plays a major role in a host of chronic diseases and health...

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Research - Surveillance

Understanding emerging and existing health threats begins with good data. Public health surveillance ensures that researchers, programs, and policy...

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Research - Survey

The Public Health Institute believes in fostering health and well-being through rigorous quantitative and qualitative research, guided by the princ...

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